6 Apr 2012

Golfing greats believe technology ruining game

3:12 pm on 6 April 2012

Golf's elder statesmen are concerned that technology is ruining the sport.

Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player all believe the time has come to try to limit the distances players can hit the ball.

"Personally, I think what has put the game of golf into a lot of trouble is that the golf ball is going so far, and you're finding golf pros going to play at different golf clubs," Player, 76, said at the Masters at Augusta, Georgia, on Thursday.

"All they had to do was let the technology go with the average golfer, that's fantastic.

''But with professional golfers, we have not seen big men come into this game yet.

"We are going to see the Michael Jordans and the likes come into golf, and they are already hitting drives 400 yards. They're going to be hitting it so far, it's frightening," he added.

Nicklaus said changes to courses to lengthen the layouts and add more hazards were only widening the gap between the professionals and amateurs.

"Today, you know, the average golfer cannot relate to the pro," he said.

"But they need to figure out how to bring the average golfer and the professional golfer a little bit closer together."

All three agreed it was not plausible to go back to old-fashioned clubs but said golf authorities should consider changing balls to stop them travelling so far.

"I think that we all know that you can't really change the game from what it is today," Nicklaus added.

"That would be like asking the kids today to go back to wood clubs and it would be like when we played, asking to go back to wood shafts.

"And I know the game changes. Golf ball is a very inexpensive thing to fix."

Palmer, 82, concurred. "I think that's vital that we slow the ball down."